Are retro fps games just a fad/bubble?

With the reasonable success of Dusk we are seeing more and more “retro” fps games such as Iron Maiden, Revulsion, and that Heretic style game from the Dusk developer being made. Back when Dusk was announced and people started praising it even though it looked terrible visual vise one of the first things I pointed out to people was that if Dusk became a success then we would be flooded with similar games all of whom are claiming to be “retro” because they look like pixelated crap or have ultra low polygon counts.

I personally don’t think this trend is sustainable. I think retro fps games are currently just a fad and that after a while people will get sick of them causing the whole retro shooter industry to collapse. Perhaps there might be 1 or 2 that are extremely well made that might continue to see some success, but most will fail badly once the market becomes saturated. Defenders of retro fps will say this is true for all industries. Not true. Remember the fidget spinners? Are they still as popular now? Nope. There is a difference between a market growing and something becoming a temporary fad, and I consider the rise of the old school retro fps to be the later. Do you agree or disagree?

I consider and considered VR to be a fad, which it has proven to be and was. For one It messed up the mindset of investors and other potential financial supporters to neglect to a large degree all other game development genres and blindly put money even in the crappiest VR games without understanding the market nor the premature technology nor the medium. This sort of fad shifts tectonic plates of the industry causing real harm. That’s more worthy of a discussion than this IMHO.

Nothing against old school shooters or clones, they will come and go and the good ones remain. Personally I wont waste time thinking about it, even the crappiest pixel art clone still beats the shit out of the average asset flipped game that floods steam these days. and thats at a ratio of 1000 to 1.

If its a fad so be it no harm in it.

The problem with VR is that it’s technology is premature. The headsets are not comfortable to use, are extremely expensive, and have horrible image quality. In between this and the mediocre adoption rate which also means fewer good games for it and we have the current state of the VR industry.

Then there is also the motion sickness. This is the single biggest reason for why VR might simply never take off even if the technology improves.

Retro’esque gaming, as a whole, is something that seems to only be getting more popular over time. I don’t see why other genres of it would be any exception. I used to love the oldschool doom/heretic/hexen/wolfenstein style games when I was a kid and still do.

As for the VR stuff, yeah, it’s definitely a fad that will probably… cough… hopefully die out soon. I think Epic wastes way too much time working on it and don’t realize that it’s a fairly niche thing on the consumer end. Will I ever own a VR headset? Absolutely not… I have vertigo issues and anything VR is a vomit comet for me. Unless they can find a way to accurately stimulate the vestibular systems of my inner ear, it’s always going to be a no from me.

I wouldn’t say that retro FPS games are all that big right now–for example UT4 or the new Quake game just aren’t that popular.

As far as VR goes, it’s staying around, developers are interested in it enough to keep making stuff, and people like it when they use it, the technology is continually improving so a lot of the issues people have will go away. The big deal is going to be designing games that are clever and use the benefits of VR in a way you can’t get in other games (a must-have game). The issue there is that you’re always limited by your room and so a good game is going to figure out how to work around that limitation.

I believe VR has a niche in cockpit games. Racing, fight sims, spaceships, etc.

A VR headset is much cheaper and a much better experience than 3 (higher end) monitors.

I’m not sure if there’s any other genres where it will stick. There seems to be a place for narrative experiences, 1:1 hand tracking, and social experiences that games currently don’t do well. Also the potential for really good horror.

Doom seems to be the better way to do retro FPS. Make a completely new and original experience that feels like the original did when it came out.


Try joining online racing facebook group - they are quite fond of using VR vs trimonitor…

I don’t think fans of a particular style like this would consider it a fad. I mean a fad is something that pops up then dies out and goes away. I like to think of stuff like this as a renewed interest in something that was definitely more than a fad to begin with. Much like all “retro” games which I myself have an interest in. People enjoy pulling out an emulator to play old things right? So naturally people also want to make new things in the old style. This isn’t unique to fps at all. This is more of an expansion of a renewed interest in the old style of games and the old limitations of games. It is just now starting to really incorporate fps into what is really a bigger thing.

Remember all those indie pixel art games that started to become popular and everyone said “oh it’s just a fad” more and more of those are coming out all the time and now you are starting to see fps genre included in this “fad” that hasn’t turned out to be a fad at all. And sure I wondered how long it would last myself when it started to really pickup and gain traction. But here we are.

Anyways I think a fad dies out almost completely if not completely. There usually isn’t a left over niche crowd still following a fad long after it loses it’s popularity. Maybe for a short time prolonging the death a bit but if there is still a small but diehard following at all then it really doesn’t fit in under the fad moniker. With something like this you will almost always have that small group of people who continue to enjoy it regardless of waning popularity. Is that enough to keep this thing profitable? Hard to say really.

Most people mock pixel art games for being a piece of ****. It’s not a profitable genre at all. And soon enough, it will implode. The novelty of playing games like Super Meat boy or shovel knight isn’t going to last forever. At some point, people will lose interest and just go back to playing the same type of games like they use to. Games like Cuphead still stand a chance since they have actually good 2D visuals, but pixel art games will slowly wither away.

Actually, it’s a very profitable genre if done right. Probably one of the biggest reasons why a lot of indie devs started making retro “8/16 bit” games was due to the massive overhead that asset creation eats up. Time, expensive software(if you don’t want to use blender), tons of training/experience needed, etc. I forget the exact numbers/estimates, but somewhere I remember seeing a dollar value cost for a typical main character, as in a detailed character that you’ll spend a lot of time seeing and that isn’t some background actor in a crowd, in a AAA studio. It was something like 50-100k USD after you factor in all the man-hours…

So rather than have a group of five or six people modelling, animating and texturing a character, over the course of thousands of hours, you can just have one person that spends less than a hundred hours to make a retro character with some sprite animations…

They aren’t going anywhere though and the market for them has continued to increase in PC, console and mobile platforms. Not everything has to have fancy graphics…

I agree, I don’t think they are going anywhere, in fact all the better for it.